To B or not to B
“That is the question.” It’s already a pretty heady question, but when it comes to B Corp Beauty Brands, the question becomes ever more complex.
For those of you who’ve never heard of B Corp, take a seat. We’re about to take a dive into the deep end of this paradigm-shifting business structure, and it’s certifying body, B Labs, that stipulates companies receiving B Corp designation “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.”
Whether you’ve heard of B Corp or not, most of us don’t fully understand their stringent standards, exhaustive vetting process and ongoing operational requirements, or why becoming a B Corp is such a big deal. With only 3,300 certified B Corp businesses in the world, and only about 100 in the home and personal care category, you can be sure that this is not for the faint of heart. But at Beauty Heroes, we think it’s worth it, and it’s certainly worth celebrating.
B Stands for Blue
Okay, probably not, (the B doesn’t actually stand for anything specific, but indicates a business that is beneficial for society and planet) but it could, because Blue Beauty champions the same overarching values. B Corp is the designation earned by a conscious group of committed businesses working toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
B Corp is considered by most to be a 21st century B-eacon of hope. Unlike a standard S Corp, C Corp or LLC, B Corp represents a global culture shift in the values and priorities of a for-profit business. It demands an ongoing commitment to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance; to offer public transparency and legal accountability; and to balance profit and purpose. Attaining B-Corp Certification is more than a milestone. B Corps are audited regularly and must achieve and maintain a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment. And it can be costly. Depending on annual revenues, initial fees can range from $1,000 to $50,000. But for values-aligned companies who see their business as a vehicle for a bigger mission, the upfront cost is worth the long-term benefits to people, planet and profits.
The B Honor Roll
To receive a B Corp Certification, companies must go through a rigorous assessment, including a face-to-face with B Corp team members. By having a third party evaluate the business as a whole, brands are held accountable for what goes on publicly and behind the scenes. B-Corp doesn’t just evaluate a company’s product or services, but the overall positive impact of the company itself. B Corp considers:
- How does the company treat its workers; what about employee benefits?
- What’s its community impact; its environmental impact?
- What about the materials used to make the products?
- Are there give back initiatives?
All Certified B Corp Beauty Brands must maintain a minimum verified score of 80. Think of this as a report card measuring all the categories (and more) that we just mentioned. And, to go one step further, this report is completely transparent on bcorporation.net.
Just like high school honor roll or the dean’s list, B Corp Beauty Brands are required to maintain or improve their grades every year to keep their certification.
B the Change
B Corps and leaders of the emerging economy stand on four cornerstones:
- They must be the change they seek in the world.
- All business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- Through their products practices and profits, business should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires they act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
How Do I know A from B?
Glad you asked. If you’re shopping from home, you can easily look for the B Corp certification on a brand’s website. If you’re doing in-store shopping (seems rarer and rarer these days!), look for the B Corp logo on the product itself.
It’s worth noting that a business can absolutely be socially responsible and not be a B Corp business. But by becoming a B Corp, businesses remove all doubt.
The mission of the Blue Beauty movement is to educate, inspire and introduce you to brands that are leading the way towards a bluer future. We know that B Corp brands are at the very front of the pack in this way. Today, we invite you to celebrate just a few of our brands that are certified, B Corp brands. With less than 3,500 business in the world having achieved this status, we are honored to call them ours.
In an industry where disposable period products are the norm, Saalt is committed to offering only reusable options that are good for our planet and good for you. Saalt creates cutting-edge period care products, believing that, through innovation, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and convenience. The company dedicates a whopping 2% of their profits to providing period-poor communities with education, menstrual cups and other resources. They believe a business governed by strong ethics is a powerful force for good in the world, and they are committed to finding partners that align with their standards of fair wages, safe and healthy labor conditions, and clean manufacturing.
The partners on Saalt’s journey are industry leaders in creating positive change–like funding college scholarships for seamstresses, providing clean water for communities and keeping it clean with renewable energy. Saalt likes its period care simple and sustainable.
This company, whose mantra is beauty wild with nature, also lives by a social mantra to be a force for good in the world. Captain Blankenship is a small, women-run company that offers luxurious, honest products. Its hair and body care products use organic and domestically grown ingredients, with no synthetic preservatives, parabens, sulfates or fragrances. The use of recyclable and reusable glass packaging makes a positive environmental impact, and the company practices transparency in every aspect of its line.
A member of 1% for the Planet since 2017, Captain Blankenship supports a global range of nonprofits concentrating on climate, food, land, water and wildlife.
People and the planet are at the center of everything at Innersense Organic Beauty. Founded with a commitment to make clean, safe and sustainable hair care products that are better for you and the planet, they have earned B Corp certification.
In 2020, Innersense announced their commitment to clean up the equivalent of the last 5 years of their plastic output with help from Plastic Bank. But their journey goes far beyond healthy hair and plastics. Innersense also supports the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, whose mission is to eliminate dangerous chemicals linked to adverse health impacts from cosmetics and personal care products.
B Corp has become an integral part of the guiding principles and brand pillars at Innersense: Be Well, Be Beautiful, Be Conscious, B Corp.
Believing that how we treat our co-workers, customers, community and environment is just as important as how we treat our skin, Ursa Major is proud to join over 3,300 businesses across 71 countries that have earned B-Corp certification.
Ursa Major’s mission as a company is to provide energizing skincare essentials made with plant-powered active ingredients, natural aromas and clean formulas. Along with their dedication to keeping our waterways clean with sustainable product and packaging, all full-time Ursa Major employees have stock in the company, enabling and inspiring a more meaningful relationship with the work. Their headquarters are 100% carbon-neutral. And all employees participate in a volunteer program aimed at giving back to the community and surroundings.
But there’s no stopping this clean company. Each year, they are obligated to maintain or improve their B-Corp status while committing to educate the community, elevate how they do business, and (hopefully) inspire others along the way. Their values are simple: Practice awareness, be courageous. Do great work. Always take the high road. Never stop exploring.
Good Clean Love
Good Clean Love is the top-selling organic intimacy brand in the United States, bringing petroleum and silicone free products to the mainstream and making them more available. Based in Eugene Oregon, they’ve been B Corp certified since 2013 and have received the PETA Compassionate Business Awards for replacing animal testing with human tissue model testing for their products that are required to be tested by the FDA for safety. They’re the first company to create a carbon-neutral personal lubricant, Almost Naked Lube.
Beauty Heroes is beyond thrilled to make these B Corp companies available to our tribe. We will continue to walk our walk, inspire, encourage and applaud the brands that push for progress with their products, packaging, practices and purpose. And remember, the more we support B Corp businesses, the more incentive there is for businesses to become B Corp. They need us as much as the planet needs them.